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Hydration Backpacks


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I own several backpacks and usually carry my H2O in my trusty Nalgene bottles. I am now looking into a hydration pack that also has some room in it for a day hike. The hydro pack I am looking at now is the Camelbak Alpine Explorer. Looks like this one has a 100oz resevoir and 1,862 cu of space. Any fellow hikers- cachers have any recommendations on a hydro day pack? :laughing:

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I own several backpacks and usually carry my H2O in my trusty Nalgene bottles. I am now looking into a hydration pack that also has some room in it for a day hike. The hydro pack I am looking at now is the Camelbak Alpine Explorer. Looks like this one has a 100oz resevoir and 1,862 cu of space. Any fellow hikers- cachers have any recommendations on a hydro day pack? :laughing:

 

Personally, I'm not fond of 'hydration' packs. Specifically, I think the Camelbak packs are uncomfortable to wear for any extended length of time. I have a mil-spec MULE and a Blowfish that I use for mountainbike riding. The Blowfish is MUCH more comfortable than the MULE, but I loathe hiking with either of them.

 

That said, if you've just gotta have one buy one some place with a very liberal return policy.

 

If I were in the market for a pack that is also capable of carrying a water bladder, I'd look for a daypack (across all brands) that is capable of holding a bladder, and has a port out the side at the top for your hose... AND put a platypus bladder in it instead of a camelbak!

 

Good luck. It may be that you DO decide the Camelbak is the best for you but don't limit yourself from the outset. Something else may suit your purpose much better in the long run.

 

 

michelle

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I haven't spent much time hiking with my Camelbak MULE, but it wasn't terrible when I did. Still, the pack is too low on storage for most of my hiking jaunts, so it remains my mountain biking pack. Works great for that.

 

I mostly use an REI Lookout pack I got on clearance last year for hiking. It's cavernous and can even set me up for a whole weekend if I pack light.

 

Unlike CG, I actually DO like Camelbak bladders. I had a platy essentially disintegrate on me after just 3 months of use. Sure, cascade designs would have replaced it for me, but I would have had to ship it out and wait who knows how many weeks for it to return (I was living in Escalante, UT, and there's no such thing as 3 day shipping, even). The store I bought it from was unhelpful. I bought a Camelbak bladder, and it's been bombproof for 4 years now...and I even swap it between about 3 different packs.

 

The Camelbak bladder may weigh a bit more, but when it comes to making sure my water stays with me, and doesn't run down my back (especially when I'm miles from nowhere in the desert), I'll take a little extra weight in exchange for long-term durability. FYI, new C-bak bladders now have a lifetime warranty, too.

 

Besides, there's no arguing that the camelbak bite valve is the best out there.

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I've never worn or used Camelback packs, bladders, or anything else so I can't really comment on them specifically.

 

What I do have is a regular day pack (Mountainsmith Approach II) that has a pouch inside for a bladder and it has a port on top for the tube. I put in a Nalgene bladder, tube, and valve and have had no problems with the setup.

 

My only complaint is that the Nalgene hydration stuff was hard to find. I'm sure someday in the future when I need something new I might end up with another brand for those bits.

Edited by Ferreter5
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I have the Mountainsmith Approach II (see review) and it's a great all around pack. Roomy enough for a full day of hiking or even a light overnighter.

 

It has a hydration sleeve and exit port for the hose and I added a 3 liter Platypus hydration bladder (I think they are better than Camelback anyway, as they don't impart a plastic taste the way the Camelbaks do).

 

The Approach II is no longer available but the Approach 3.0 is. It's essentially the same pack, slightly smaller and with some minor cosmetic differences (including available colors).

 

I agree with CurmudgeonlyGal, look across all brands for the features you want and don't limit yourself to a single brand where you might have to compromise. When I was looking for a pack no Camelbak model had the features I wanted and the Mountainsmith had them all.

Edited by briansnat
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I use a 3 Liter Camelback insulated bladder, inside the bladder pocket of my other packs to carry water. I have found that by using the insulated bladder, I can have cold water all day, or warm water all day if it is cold. On top of that it does not sweat in my pack like the uninsulated bladders do. I picked up a REI Flash pack last year that I use by itself for day hiking or in my big pack as a stuff sack on longer trips. It has a bladder pocket that fits the 3L just fi8ne, plus lots of room for day hike stuff. It has very little support, but it is lightweight and I love it. On longer trips I reverse it and use it as a stuff sack for gear, then when we set up camp, I use it for short hikes from camp. When coupled with the Camelback insulated bladder, it has become my hydration pack of choice. I could not find an off-the-shelf "hydration pack" that I was happy with, but this set up works great for me.

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I've got a Camelbak Viper, not a day pack style but it does have very limited storage. I've used it for some trips, construction jobs, any time I will be outside for an extended period of time. No real complaints other than when I bend over it slides up - better than nothing.

 

I got the kids elcheapo packs, 1st time out of the door one leaked and the others had bite-tube problems. I tore the bladders out and now they each have their own day packs. They each carry their own bottled water in them.

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Since you already have packs, why not just buy a hydration bladder for them and save some bucks. The best one for this purpose is the Camelbak Unbottle. Just slip it inside the pack, run the hose out the top and you have an instant hydration pack.

 

 

Thanks everybody for your input so far! :laughing: That is a great idea Briansnat on the hydration bladder to slip inside of my backpack. It has been awhile since I have purchased a new backpack and most do come with some type of sleeve to hold bladders unlike the old school packs. I did check out the Mountainsmith Approach pack and it looks very functional. I especially like the separate bladder sleeve and the 32oz water bottle holders and how they are positioned. Always good to have a backup supply of water in case a seam would burst. This happened to a buddy of mine this past weekend who was deep in the hills on a 106 degree day and had to abandon the cache mission. :laughing:

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I say just go and buy a knockoff for $20-30. A bladder almost costs as much so if you don't like the pack just transfer the bladder to another pack.

 

That's all I used for years. The only problem is space. It likely won't have much room for any clothes, like for the jacket that you take off on a hot day.

 

But remember that with bladders comes maintenance. You do need to clean and dry them after use unless you want to replace them every year due to mold.

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I have the camelbak Military spec HAWG and love it. It has plenty of room for a day hike and the 100 ounce bladder is plenty for a day hike. If you are hiking in extreme weather or longer distances, you can add an additional 100 ounce bladder.

 

It carries everything I need and is comfortable to wear.

 

 

 

 

 

I say just go and buy a knockoff for $20-30. A bladder almost costs as much so if you don't like the pack just transfer the bladder to another pack.

 

That's all I used for years. The only problem is space. It likely won't have much room for any clothes, like for the jacket that you take off on a hot day.

 

But remember that with bladders comes maintenance. You do need to clean and dry them after use unless you want to replace them every year due to mold.

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Thanks everybody for your input so far! biggrin.gif That is a great idea Briansnat on the hydration bladder to slip inside of my backpack. It has been awhile since I have purchased a new backpack and most do come with some type of sleeve to hold bladders unlike the old school packs.

 

The Unbottle works well with packs that don't have an internal sleeve. I find that the other bladders tend to collapse as they empty if there is no sleeve and this sometimes cuts off the flow of water. The Unbottle is semi rigid so this is not an issue. If the pack has a sleeve, then you can use pretty much any bladder. I like the Platypus Hoser.

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The best indicater I've followed when in need of water is when I stop sweating.

 

I can usually catch when the sweat factor is starting to dry up so to speak and that's when I take a few sips.

 

If I don't catch the fact I'm starting to dry up and now I have completely stopped sweating, I call that a time for a breather, taking a few sips every couple of minutes until the pores start to do their thing again.

 

I agree the nalgenes are nice for that gulp gulp, but I find it's too easy to get a belly ache for taking in too much water too fast. Generally speaking, when you find yourself in that big gulp need, you're probably getting low on electrolytes.

 

Now if they can just get that stillsuit working...

Nasa is working on a concept.

Edited by TotemLake
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How convenient that I ran across this thread. I just mentioned this exact topic not an hour ago to a fellow cacher/hiker via email. This question would be mainly directed towards TL and Marcus because offhand I am sure you know the area I am talking about. How do you know the size of H2O pack to get? I am thinking on the lines of an inexperienced hiker trying the Mt. Ellinor/Mt. Rose type of hike. 100 or 300 ounce?

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I haven't hiked Mt Ellinor so couldn't tell you what your water needs are going to be. However, unless there is a new 300 oz bladder out there you raised what I'm assuming is an interesting misunderstanding of measurments. If there is a new 300 oz bladder out, that would be ungodly heavy to start. Using this matrix you can see a 100 oz unbottle is going to weigh in at 7.18 lbs. Multiply that by 3 and you'll understand the weight issues.

 

Bladders are also measured by the cubic inch (ci). Every 35 ounces is about 100 ci. A 300 ci bladder will be about 105 oz.

 

Until I started carrying a stove, I routinely started with 164 oz of water weight. That's two 32 oz Nalgene bottles plus the 100 oz unbottle. I dropped to 132 oz, but with the new Nalgene Cantene, I'm back up to about 140+ oz with a 48 oz capacity cantene. A lid adapter with a sip tube allows me to set it up the same way as the unbottle, but this will have my electrolyte go juice in it. That's a water weight of about 8.74 lbs plus the weight of the containers.

 

I also carry a water purifier with me to replenish at a moment's notice if my water even gets down to half gone. I've learned my lesson not to make assumptions I won't find water. I have found puddles and ponds where I expected to find none. In one case I wished I had my pump, and in another was thankful I did.

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It could very easily be my misunderstanding of measurements. Like I said, I am new at this kinda thing and trying to understand what I might need for a day hike. I want to be prepared, but not overdo it to where I am carrying needless weight.

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If you stop sweating, you're in trouble already (that's the first sign of heat exhaustion...if you stop sweating, you REALLY need to stop what you're doing, get out of the heat, and drink up). If you're thirsty, you're already dehydrated. I find that a bladder works well because you can take small sips as necessary to cut down on the gulping (most of that just ends up in your bladder, anyway) that leaches out even more electrolytes than you're losing as it is.

 

Urine color/frequency is a good indicator. If you haven't peed in awhile, you're probably dehydrated. Drink up, but not too fast. Once you do pee...note the color. Dark yellow - dehydrated. Clear as water - you're drinking too much. A slight yellow tinge is good.

 

Maintain your electrolytes, too. I've been carrying gookinade in a 20oz water/soda bottle, and find it works quite well. It doesn't taste great, but no decent electrolyte drink tastes great (they're all salty).

 

Camelbak recommends 1L of water per hour of strenuous exercise. For hiking, you can probably cut that in half...so 1L of water per two hours of light/moderate walking. If you're really taking it easy, and the temps aren't bad, you can stretch that farther. When I lived in S. Utah, I would frequently drink every drop of 4L of water in a 6-7hour day. Some days, I'd carry 5L when I knew I'd be at a low, hot elevation. It's a lot of stinkin water, but you want to make sure you have more than enough.

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I found one major problem that I have when I wear a hydration pack: I don't drink nearly as much as from a Nalgene. Something about sucking water from a hose is just annoying. I find that I'm taking a few sips here and there, but when I'm using a Nalgene, I'm taking (needed) gulps. Just a personal preference issue.

 

On the flip side of that, I find that I drink a lot more when I have the camelback/other hydration pack. I am used to drinking from the hose from mountainbiking I guess. I used to never drink enough water when hiking and carrying water bottles. For some reason I like to sip the water while I am moving, and I hate having to stop and drink from a bottle. I can't walk and drink from the nalgene at the same time :angry: although I *do* seem to be capable of walking and chewing gum...

 

Also, to reiterate what Totem lake said. If you buy a pack with the internal sleeve, remember that your bladder will take up part of that storage space. This is less of a problem with the camelbacks I have bought (older model Mule and Hawg) because the bladder fits in its own section and is not counted in the capacity of the pack. I found a daypack that fits well and I really love, but I underestimated the pack volume I need because of the room the bladder takes. Debating whether to return for a bigger pack or discipline myself and carry less.

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I have two packs. One is a small Camelbak type (Outdoor Products) that I use for short hikes (<7 miles) that has a 2 liter bladder.

 

Hikes that go over that, or are overly strenuous (terrain, heat, exposure) I use a bigger Outdoor Prodcuts backpack and double up on the bladders - carrying two 2-liter bladders. One I fill with plain water, the other I fill with water treated with Nuun or the new Camelbak Elixir tablets for electrolytes.

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For day hikes I rarely need more than the standard 2 liter blader (64+ onces for us yanks). I do carry a filter just in case

 

In fact 2L lasted almost to the bottom a Mt. Ranier and Mt Pilchuck in the last two weeks. Now for Mt St. Helens last year (in mid summer) I froze a couple extra bottles and threw them in the pack. They where needed and very refreshing ice cold.

 

But like others have said everyone is a bit different in their consumption needs. I would guess the more you sweat the more H20 you are going to require to replentish it.

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Over time, I've purchased several cheap, off brand hydration systems, and disposed of them kwickly, mostly due to discomfort. As a Charter Member of the ol' fat, crippled guy's club, I like having a lot of water with me, and I finally splurged on the CamelBak Rim Runner. It holds 3 litres of water, as compared to the off brands 2 litres. It is exceptionally comfortable for extended wear, and holds everything I can imagine needing on the hiking trail.

923782.jpg

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Me and Lynn use 2.5 litre platypuss pouches in the slots inside our rucksacks the kids have off the shelf cheap as possible 2 litre packs which also hold thoer lunch and cache swaps !.

 

The platypuss are so easy to clean.

 

After use we swill them out and then swill them again but with a solution made up from wine / beer sterilising solution this swilled arround the inside and drained through the valve keeps mould and such like away for ages (3 months the last time but with my beer making stuff it seems to last about 9 months before mould starts to form)

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Quick question. Is there anything I can use to flush out mold that is forming in the tube of my hydration pack? Something that I could soak it in as opposed to by the cleaning brush that is sold.

 

Just fill your bladder with a bleach and water solution, run it into the hose, close the valve and let it soak for a bit, then turn on the valve and run the entire contents through the hose.

 

I have to do this once or twice a year if the hose starts getting a little moldy.

 

It also helps if you only use water in your bladder. Use Gatorade or anything with sugar and you will find yourself with a biology experiment pretty soon.

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Quick question. Is there anything I can use to flush out mold that is forming in the tube of my hydration pack? Something that I could soak it in as opposed to by the cleaning brush that is sold.

 

Just fill your bladder with a bleach and water solution, run it into the hose, close the valve and let it soak for a bit, then turn on the valve and run the entire contents through the hose.

 

I have to do this once or twice a year if the hose starts getting a little moldy.

 

It also helps if you only use water in your bladder. Use Gatorade or anything with sugar and you will find yourself with a biology experiment pretty soon.

 

What is the ratio of bleach to water? I think I have a 100 ounce bladder.

Edited by magellan315
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Over time, I've purchased several cheap, off brand hydration systems, and disposed of them kwickly, mostly due to discomfort. As a Charter Member of the ol' fat, crippled guy's club, I like having a lot of water with me, and I finally splurged on the CamelBak Rim Runner. It holds 3 litres of water, as compared to the off brands 2 litres. It is exceptionally comfortable for extended wear, and holds everything I can imagine needing on the hiking trail.

923782.jpg

 

That's a nice pack! We use "cheap, off brand hydration systems", but we haven't had any discomfort problems. I do like the 3L capacity of the Rim Runner.

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Quick question. Is there anything I can use to flush out mold that is forming in the tube of my hydration pack? Something that I could soak it in as opposed to by the cleaning brush that is sold.

 

Just fill your bladder with a bleach and water solution, run it into the hose, close the valve and let it soak for a bit, then turn on the valve and run the entire contents through the hose.

 

I have to do this once or twice a year if the hose starts getting a little moldy.

 

It also helps if you only use water in your bladder. Use Gatorade or anything with sugar and you will find yourself with a biology experiment pretty soon.

 

What is the ratio of bleach to water? I think I have a 100 ounce bladder.

 

I use about 5 parts water to 1 part bleach, but that is overkill. You really only need a few tablespoons of bleach in a 100 oz bladder.

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Disinfecting - from the platypus website:

 

To disinfect platy add one ounce of unscented household bleach (such as Clorox Regular or Clorox Ultra) to one liter of clean water. Mix for 10 seconds. Fill platy or drinking tube with solution and leave filled over night. Rinse thoroughly and air dry.

 

Cleaning:

 

Use hot, soapy water and rinse thoroughly with hot water. For tough cleaning jobs, add 1/4 cup of baking soda to 3/4 cup of water (double for Platypus 2) and shake for 30 seconds. Add 1/4 cup lemon juice, shake 10 seconds, and vent by loosening cap away from face. Repeat shaking and venting three times. Expel as much air as possible, cap bottle, and allow to soak 20 minutes. Rinse three times with hot water. Caution: When adding lemon juice to baking soda, effervescence occurs and will cause pressure to build in a capped Platypus.

 

 

michelle

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Over time, I've purchased several cheap, off brand hydration systems, and disposed of them kwickly, mostly due to discomfort. As a Charter Member of the ol' fat, crippled guy's club, I like having a lot of water with me, and I finally splurged on the CamelBak Rim Runner. It holds 3 litres of water, as compared to the off brands 2 litres. It is exceptionally comfortable for extended wear, and holds everything I can imagine needing on the hiking trail.

923782.jpg

 

That's a nice pack! We use "cheap, off brand hydration systems", but we haven't had any discomfort problems. I do like the 3L capacity of the Rim Runner.

 

I agree, that is a nice pack. I am hesitant to order a pack online though without first trying it on. We have one sporting goods store in my area with limited backpack supplies, so it is hard to pick and choose with such a small selection. Can't wait till we get our new Cabela's store next year. I did check the price of the Rim Runner on the Cabela's website and it runs $84.99. The original hydro pack that I was looking at (camelbak alpine explorer) is on sale on the cabela's wesite for $69.88. It is larger than the Rim Runner by 400cu inches and also has the 100oz bladder. Also the Camelbak Cloud Walker is on sale for $39.88 and has 1,282cu inches of space and a 70oz bladder. If you want to check them out, they are located in the bargain cave section. Those are pretty good buys! :ph34r: I still like the look and features of that Mountainsmith pack though, thanks Briansnat, decisions, decisions! :o

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I have a 'knock off' of the Camelbak, the High Sierra, think I got mine at Costco for around $25. (Daypack).

 

I brought mine with me to Belize for 2 weeks, where I spent most of my time hiking in the jungle, day and night. In addition, I packed it with 2 Nalgene bottles, digital camera, flashlight, headlamp, sunscreen, and a few other items. Considering the temps ranged from 86 in the morning to 105 in the afternoons with 98% humidity, the pack rocked!

 

I don't like drinking through a hose either but you do what ya gotta do down there. The water stayed cool for quite awhile and I did drop some flavored powder in the bladder to help rid of that 'taste'. I didn't find it uncomfortable and although you can't help but sweat 100% of the time down there, the airmesh, cushioned back supports really helped allow a little airflow on the back. I was very happy with that purchase and there wasn't a day I wasn't hauling that thing on my back. Definitely only good for a days worth of water if you're a H2O hog like me :ph34r:

 

tsun

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Quick question. Is there anything I can use to flush out mold that is forming in the tube of my hydration pack? Something that I could soak it in as opposed to by the cleaning brush that is sold.

 

Just fill your bladder with a bleach and water solution, run it into the hose, close the valve and let it soak for a bit, then turn on the valve and run the entire contents through the hose.

 

I have to do this once or twice a year if the hose starts getting a little moldy.

 

It also helps if you only use water in your bladder. Use Gatorade or anything with sugar and you will find yourself with a biology experiment pretty soon.

 

What is the ratio of bleach to water? I think I have a 100 ounce bladder.

 

Bleach ! yummy stuff.

 

Wine bottle sterilising powder is designed not to be poisonous and to leave no taint as a soak it also lifts mould and fungus from surfaces.

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I have a Camelbak MULE and a MotherLode, both mil versions. On me (5'11"), the MULE rides primarily on the shoulders; the thin waist belt rides considerably above the hips. Since the pack is small and light, I don't find this weight distribution to be a problem, just a peculiarity of the design. It actually works well for me, as I like to carry a lot of my 'ready' gear (camera, notepad, compass, maps, snacks, survival stuff) in belt-hanger pouch(es).

 

The MotherLode is a real cargo hauler, with a padded hip belt and large, compartmented interior. The hydration-bladder section holds two 3-liter bladders, which I plumb together to feed one drinking tube using a nylon T fitting from the hardware store and some tubing scraps. The main compartment easily holds two ammo cans or one kitchen sink.

 

Hydration bladder care. In our dry climate (AZ), I find that I don't need to de-grunge the bladders or plumbing so long as I religiously follow my routine:

 

- I put nothing but pure tap or bottled water into the bladder. I carry any flavored drinks in their own bottles in my pack.

 

- I never blow into the mouthpiece. Some folks do this in order to prevent water from standing in the tube and getting warm (or freezing, as the case may be). I have neoprene insulation on the drinking tube and have just decided to accept the fact that the first couple ounces of water will be warm.

 

- When I return from a hike, I immediately disassemble the drinking tube, mouthpiece and bladder, and empty the remaining water. I hang the bladder in the sun on the plastic Camelbak hanger and periodically invert and shake it to remove the last drops. When it's thoroughly dry, I store it open to the air on the hanger. I wash the mouthpiece and angle connector thoroughly and store them dry. And I wring out the tubing by whipping it overhead a few times and then hanging it to drip-dry.

 

My procedures are great for a day-hiker in a dry climate. Naturally, if you're refilling the bladders with less-than-perfect water, or spending days on the trail, or you live in a humid place where it's impossible to thoroughly dry anything, you'll probably need to scrub things out. If you do, I wonder whether bleach and other harsh sanitizers are really the best idea. Most dish soaps now contain an antibacterial ingredient (triclosan), and would be superior at removing and flushing out contaminants. Soap and the Camelbak bottle brushes would seem to me to be superior to trying to destroy the contaminants with chlorine bleach.

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Quick question. Is there anything I can use to flush out mold that is forming in the tube of my hydration pack? Something that I could soak it in as opposed to by the cleaning brush that is sold.

 

Just fill your bladder with a bleach and water solution, run it into the hose, close the valve and let it soak for a bit, then turn on the valve and run the entire contents through the hose.

 

I have to do this once or twice a year if the hose starts getting a little moldy.

 

It also helps if you only use water in your bladder. Use Gatorade or anything with sugar and you will find yourself with a biology experiment pretty soon.

 

What is the ratio of bleach to water? I think I have a 100 ounce bladder.

 

Bleach ! yummy stuff.

 

Wine bottle sterilising powder is designed not to be poisonous and to leave no taint as a soak it also lifts mould and fungus from surfaces.

 

Aw, come on... they regularly flush municipal water systems with a nice bleach solution... Poisonous? We're immune!

 

:D

 

 

michelle

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Aw, come on... they regularly flush municipal water systems with a nice bleach solution... Poisonous? We're immune!

 

:D

 

 

michelle

Thank the Lord for drilled wells. :huh:

 

( :) ...Somebody changed their sig line!The other one was better. :) )

 

Anyways,back on topic-

I've got 4 camelbacks.Everything from simple water holders to big day packs with bladders.Love em all.I started back around 2000 with my first one while in the Marines(Before they were trendy and 'cool').So nice to have 100oz of water with you while training at 29 Palms.I've collected a few more since being out here in the sandbox.Love them all.Real good for a day hike,but for overnighting,I would go with the recommendations from the other posters.

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I swear by the UNI Bottle, the bad taste is better than no water at all. A trick to keep them clean is keep them full. When I come back from a hike I just fill it up put it in the fridge. Change it every few days if I even don't use it. And the UNI Bottle works good for some Draught Beer also, just clean the hell out of it after the party.

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I own several backpacks and usually carry my H2O in my trusty Nalgene bottles. I am now looking into a hydration pack that also has some room in it for a day hike. The hydro pack I am looking at now is the Camelbak Alpine Explorer. Looks like this one has a 100oz resevoir and 1,862 cu of space. Any fellow hikers- cachers have any recommendations on a hydro day pack? ^_^

 

 

Just thought I would give an update on my recent purchase of my new Geo Pack. I decided to go with the recommendation of Briansnat and purchased the Mountainsmith Approach 3.0 day pack. I have been carrying this pack for 2 weeks now and must say this was a great investment and couldn't be happier. :unsure: It distributes the load well and has all sorts of pockets and cool features. This pack usually sells at most outlets for $99, but I snagged the Approach 3.0 on sale at Campmor for $59.87. For now I will use my 32oz Nalgenes and will invest in a hydro bladder soon. Haven't decided yet if I want to go with platypus, nalgene or camelback reservoir. The pack does have a sleeve for the bladder and an outlet on the top for the tube. It also has a molded foam back panel and an internal support. There is nothing really bad I can say about this pack so I would give it a 4.5 out of 5. ^_^

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Haven't decided yet if I want to go with platypus, nalgene or camelback reservoir.

 

I use both a Platypus bladder and a Camelback Unbottle. Advantage of the Platypus is that the water tastes a lot better. You can also freeze the bladder on real hot days and let it melt as the day progresses giving you ice cold water all day. The Zipper closure makes it real easy to clean and dry as well.

 

The Zipper lock also is a disadvantage. After a while they get hard to close (I used a rolling pin after a while), but the Platypus people are great with the lifetime warranty and will replace it no questions asked.

 

One time it was an issue when I slipped on wet rocks and came down hard directly on my pack. The Zipper lock failed and the water was all over the inside of the pack. It should be noted that this happened once in about 5 years of frequent use.

 

The Camelbak Unbottle is useful because you can use it in packs that don't have a hydration bladder sleeve. It also has a little insulation that helps keep the water cooler on hot days. The closure is very secure. Sometimes too secure. My wife can't open hers, so I have to do it for her and it does take some thumb strength. It is also a lot heavier than the Platypus and adds a hint of a plastic taste to the water.

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I have one that still has the plastic taste to it. any good way to remove that taste?

 

Ive cleaned it. Its an off brand so Im not sure who actually made it.

 

 

 

 

Separate question. When I was a kid in Tucson AZ. we would go on 7 mile, one way hikes with 2 days of camping on 64 0z total for the entire 2.5 days. We didn't suffer or get really thirsty. When did we suddenly need all this water?

Edited by Michael
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I have one that still has the plastic taste to it. any good way to remove that taste?

 

Ive cleaned it. Its an off brand so Im not sure who actually made it.

 

 

 

 

Separate question. When I was a kid in Tucson AZ. we would go on 7 mile, one way hikes with 2 days of camping on 64 0z total for the entire 2.5 days. We didn't suffer or get really thirsty. When did we suddenly need all this water?

I don't know about you, but I noticed things started changing for me at 40... sight, the arches of my feet, size of my waist line... :unsure:

 

I think more importantly, we as an educated society finally recognize how close to dehydration we really are these days. Back in yesteryear as a kid, soda pop was not a major part of my diet and I was encouraged by my dad that drinking water was much easier on his wallet than drinking koolaid and malts and icee's etc. So I think, we were probably more tolerant to going without water for longer periods of time.

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I own several backpacks and usually carry my H2O in my trusty Nalgene bottles. I am now looking into a hydration pack that also has some room in it for a day hike. The hydro pack I am looking at now is the Camelbak Alpine Explorer. Looks like this one has a 100oz resevoir and 1,862 cu of space. Any fellow hikers- cachers have any recommendations on a hydro day pack? :unsure:

 

I speak from experience, I use a Camelbak Alpine Explorer almost exclusively. I upgraded to it, from the Camelbak Mule. I have had nothing but good luck with this pack, and for long jaunts I carry an additional 100 oz bladder (from my MULE) in the center sleeve. The only thing I wished it had was a better waistbelt for added support (like a heavy padded belt.)

Edited by Kit Fox
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Separate question. When I was a kid in Tucson AZ. we would go on 7 mile, one way hikes with 2 days of camping on 64 0z total for the entire 2.5 days. We didn't suffer or get really thirsty. When did we suddenly need all this water?

I don't know about you, but I noticed things started changing for me at 40... sight, the arches of my feet, size of my waist line... :unsure:

 

I think more importantly, we as an educated society finally recognize how close to dehydration we really are these days. Back in yesteryear as a kid, soda pop was not a major part of my diet and I was encouraged by my dad that drinking water was much easier on his wallet than drinking koolaid and malts and icee's etc. So I think, we were probably more tolerant to going without water for longer periods of time.

 

I remember our soccer coach used to withhold water breaks as punishment. Nobody thought anything of it. Do that today and you could find yourself out of a coaching job pronto.

 

I think you can acclimate your body to going on less water. Doesn't mean it's good for you though.

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Separate question. When I was a kid in Tucson AZ. we would go on 7 mile, one way hikes with 2 days of camping on 64 0z total for the entire 2.5 days. We didn't suffer or get really thirsty. When did we suddenly need all this water?

I don't know about you, but I noticed things started changing for me at 40... sight, the arches of my feet, size of my waist line... :blink:

 

I think more importantly, we as an educated society finally recognize how close to dehydration we really are these days. Back in yesteryear as a kid, soda pop was not a major part of my diet and I was encouraged by my dad that drinking water was much easier on his wallet than drinking koolaid and malts and icee's etc. So I think, we were probably more tolerant to going without water for longer periods of time.

 

I remember our soccer coach used to withhold water breaks as punishment. Nobody thought anything of it. Do that today and you could find yourself out of a coaching job pronto.

 

I think you can acclimate your body to going on less water. Doesn't mean it's good for you though.

 

Here in the Desert, there are sections of the Pacific Crest Trail, that some thru hikers have learned to hike on a liter or two per ten miles. :unsure: In some groups (bedouins come to mind) water is extremely scarce, but they still survive.

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Im in the market for a new daypack. i need to be able to fit at least two 100oz bladders in it and still have room for some gear. the sticking point is the double bladder, but that is a necessity for the longer hikes here in tucson during the summer. i saw mule ears post about the motherload form camelbak but im hesitant to order a pack online without trying it on first and nobody carries it in stores near me. any other ideas?

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Im in the market for a new daypack. i need to be able to fit at least two 100oz bladders in it and still have room for some gear. the sticking point is the double bladder, but that is a necessity for the longer hikes here in tucson during the summer. i saw mule ears post about the motherload form camelbak but im hesitant to order a pack online without trying it on first and nobody carries it in stores near me. any other ideas?

 

Check out the previously mentioned Mountainsmith Approach 3.0. I know Dicks carries it if you have a Dicks somewhere near you.

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Im in the market for a new daypack. i need to be able to fit at least two 100oz bladders in it and still have room for some gear. the sticking point is the double bladder, but that is a necessity for the longer hikes here in tucson during the summer. i saw mule ears post about the motherload form camelbak but im hesitant to order a pack online without trying it on first and nobody carries it in stores near me. any other ideas?

 

Even with two water bladders, all of my survival gear, and a large camera case, I still had some leftover room in my Alpine Explorist.

 

I found one major problem that I have when I wear a hydration pack: I don't drink nearly as much as from a Nalgene. Something about sucking water from a hose is just annoying. I find that I'm taking a few sips here and there, but when I'm using a Nalgene, I'm taking (needed) gulps. Just a personal preference issue.

 

If you use one of Camelbak's "water filter adapters" instead of their bite valves, the water flow is far less restrictive.

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